Paddock to Plate Pioneer Colin Beer shares his Fellowship experience
8 May 2017
What was your Churchill Fellowship topic?
To study commercial game bird breeding in Europe and USA and associated tourist activities.
Why did you apply for a Churchill Fellowship?
Cyril Henschke, renowned Barossa winemaker, had been a Churchill Fellow (1970) and suggested it was a wonderful way of gaining overseas experience in a field not known in Australia.
How did the Churchill Fellowship benefit you as someone working in the food and beverage sector?
There was very little knowledge to be gained in Australia. The only way ever to find out more about the breeding of game birds was to be able to open doors in Europe and the States where it was more common.
In my travels I visited a turkey farm on the border of Scotland that was a lightbulb moment of how we could use the base of this in the Barossa.
Apart from learning more about the breeding of game birds, the farm shop we opened the next year became the catalyst for everything else we’ve done. It was a very early paddock to plate scenario.
How did the knowledge you gained your Churchill Fellowship benefit the food and beverage sector?
The opening of the farm shop and cooking everything we grew, which was unique in itself with unique products. When we look back we see how much it contributed to food in South Australia as a serious food destination.
What have been your major achievements or milestones since going on your Fellowship?
The farm shop morphed into the Pheasant Farm Restaurant within the year of opening and was highly awarded, culminating in the Remy Martin Cognac - Australian Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant of the Year award in 1991, which was awarded by an international judge.
What is next for you?
Being open to new ideas always.
Travel overseas to advance the South Australian food industry
The Dr Susan Nelle Churchill Fellowship will be offered for award in 2018 for more information about this sponsored Fellowship visit https://www.churchilltrust.com.au/sponsors/about/Dr-Susan-V-Nelle/